Before Burat Khan (1465-1529)
Main article: History of Kazakh Khanate
Burat Khan/Khagan (1529- )
Burat's election as Khan marked the return of House Beg at the head of the Khanate, and the first time since the end of House Borjigin that two Khans have been of the same House, Burat being the nephew of Karym Khan.
Burat reign was marked by the discovery of gunpowder weapons in the Kazakh Khanate, which were brought by Ottoman workers and Imams. This lead to the massive introduction of the gunpowder weapons into the military tactics of the Kazakhs, who also tried to learn how to create those weapons. In 1932, a deal was reached with the Ottoman Empire, and in exchange of guns the Khanate would support the Ottomans in their wars.
Burat Khan, along with Giray Khan of the Khanate of Crimea, attempted to turn the organization named the Kievan Horde into a Khaganate during the early 1530's. Burat Khan was elected Khagan in 1533, but an incident at the meeting almost caused the disintegration of the Horde. It was followed by a failed war against the Nogai Khanate in 1534.
The Khan is the supreme ruler of the Khanate. According to the old traditions, the Khan is elected by the lords of the Horde, making the Khanate an Elective Monarchy. However, he hold the true power in the governement, unlike western elective monarchy where vassals held powers and independence.
Traditionally, the most power lord among the clans is elected Khan. However, the clans will often try to pass the title to a member of the previous Khan's clan, making it somewhat hereditary. Children are forbidden to inherite the title of Khan, as they are considered to young to rule anything.
The Khanate is composed of numerous Kazakh clans who rule the steppes. Each clan is lead by a family who ruled his lands and troops. The villagesa under their controle must pay tribute to them, and the troops follow their leads. The leader of the Clan is called the Basqaq.
However, they are sworn to the Khan, and must pay tribute to him in exchange for their lands and troops, which are technically the property of the Khan. The only time when the Basqaqs have real power is when it come to the lection of the new Khan.
The army of the Khanate is mainly formed of cavalry, which is standard in most hordes. Swords and spears are the main weapons in close combats, while Mongolian bows are the standard ranged weapon. The massive use of cavalry allow the use of rapid tactics and speed attacks on the ennemies.
The military leaders are chose among the basqaqs, or another general appointed by them if they are unavalable (or unwilling to go, although it is seems as cowardly). Each Clan is espected to be lead into battle by its own basqaq, as he have autority over the troops. The Khan is the supreme commander of the Kazakh military forces, and is expected to lead the Horde into battles.
The Kazakh Khanate is part of the Silk Road, making it a special spot for foreign traders. Many revenues are made from those travellers, especially as they participate in the economic life of the region. Since the Kazakhs allow slavery, the region is also home of many slave traders willing to sell or buy slaves in all legality.